Government makes steps towards repaying long-term debts to society
CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg welcomed the Government’s Half Year Fiscal Update as a positive sign that the Government was willing to repay the social and environmental deficits run up over the last 9 years. "We’re seeing some movement towards acknowledging there is repair work to restore the trust and confidence of working people in Government, but the extent of damage the last regime caused will take time to fix" he said.
"It is particularly heartening to see a significant reduction in child poverty through the Working for Families package, almost halving the numbers at the most extreme levels of poverty. Stronger wage growth and a reduction of unemployment to 4 percent by 2021 will also help many working families."
"Our schools, our hospitals, and our housing stock are all showing visible signs of long term underfunding and lack of care. What’s just as important but less visible is the impact economic austerity has had on our own health, on our children’s development and on the health of our environment. Valuing what matters requires an urgent shift away from glorifying tax cuts, to long term investment in New Zealanders. The social deficits run deep and the payoff for responsible resourcing of public services is outside three year electoral cycles."
economic measures don’t tell us much about whether
economic activity is worthwhile for the people whose work
produces our goods and services. It’s much more honest to
examine the state of our country by measures that show
whether our economic arrangements are sustaining New
Zealanders now and in the future. Working people will
benefit from the Government’s intention to measure its
policies against a wider set of wellbeing indicators as part
of fiscal updates in future budgets. We’re heartened that
there is political support for reporting that clearly shows
who gains and who loses from the Government’s economic
decisions in the long term, and the wider effects of these